London, UK -- Rohingya Villagers in Northern Rakhine State have informed BHRN of food and medical shortages as the conflict intensifies in the region between Burmese security forces and the ethnic Rakhine armed group, the Arakan Army (AA). While the International Committee of the Red Cross has been able to help several Rakhine villagers displaced by the conflict, Rohingya say restrictions imposed by the military have left them unable to receive aid. Some Rohingya villagers that spoke to BHRN have said that they haven’t been able to get aid since August 2017. Recently, Burma military has declared a unilateral ceasefire with most of the country’s many armed groups, they have excluded the Arakan Army from it and focused on isolating and targeting the Rakhine and Rohingya communities since.
London, UK -- The Yangon Region High Court has rejected an appeal by two incarcerated Reuters journalists, Thet Oo Maung (a.k.a Wa Lone) and Kyaw Soe Oo, and upheld the original seven years prison sentence passed on them by the Yangon Northern District Court. The pair were arrested on 12 December 2017 and they were sentenced on 3 September last year. The journalists were arrested after their work exposed a massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Inn Din Village, which the military was then forced to admit occurred.
“These men have been imprisoned to intimidate the free press in Burma and punish those who expose the military. They should be celebrated for their work, but instead, they continue to suffer in prison unjustly for it. Burma has clearly shown the world that it will not stand for free speech if it is against their own interest,” said BHRN’s Executive Director, Kyaw Win.
London, UK -- The Burma Human Rights Network is alarmed by reports of Burmese military and police arbitrarily detaining ethnic Rakhine villagers following fighting between the Burmese military and the Rakhine ethnic armed group, the Arakan Army. Fears have also emerged that aid may be blocked to Rakhine villages suspected of aiding or sheltering Arakan Army fighters, as has been done in the past.
“Civilians are always those who suffer most from war and conflict, and it is imperative that the Burmese army respect the human rights of the Rakhine civilians in the areas they are operating in. The use of collective punishment and arbitrary detention by the Burmese Army is not only a violation of human rights but furthers resentment among civilians and will ultimately prolong the conflict,” Said BHRN’s Executive Director Kyaw Win.